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London theatre reviews

Read through our latest London theatre reviews and find out what our theatre team made of the city's new openings

Elegy

Four years ago, brainbox playwright Nick Payne’s breakthrough ‘Constellations’ blazed into the West End like a thousand suns…

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Donmar Warehouse , Covent Garden Until Saturday June 18 2016

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

No, not ‘Jeremy Kyle: The Musical’. Transferring from Edinburgh is ‘Shit-Faced Shakespeare’, an anarchic adaptation of the Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ where one member of the cast gets tanked up before curtains up…

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Leicester Square Theatre , Leicester Square Until Saturday June 11 2016

The Toxic Avenger

Glowing like a vat of nuclear run-off and spewing sophomoric raunch across the stage, the European premiere of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ is pretty much everything you hoped (or feared) it might be…

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Southwark Playhouse , Elephant and Castle Until Saturday May 21 2016

Richard II

The evidently well connected creatives behind this production went so far in their attempt to reframe Shakespeare’s monarchical tragedy ‘Richard II’ as a Westminster thriller that it premiered in the actual House of Commons (with a one-off special performance to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death)…

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Arcola Theatre , Kingsland Tuesday May 3 2016 - Saturday May 7 2016

The House of In Between

Critics' choice

Hijras are India’s ‘third gender’. Male by birth, and usually – though not always – eunuchs, they belong to a subculture that has existed on the Subcontinent for thousands of years…

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Theatre Royal Stratford East , Stratford Until Saturday April 30 2016

Funny Girl

Critics' choice

Barbra who? It’s no small triumph that Sheridan Smith has all but banished the ghost of productions past in this revival of the musical that made Barbra Streisand’s name in 1964…

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Savoy Theatre , Charing Cross Until Saturday October 8 2016

The Flick

A few years back a YouTube video did the rounds in which Justin Bieber’s  infuriatingly catchy pre-teen smash ‘Baby’ was slowed down by 800%,  turning the sturdy pop song into something altogether more alien and profound…

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National Theatre , South Bank Until Wednesday June 15 2016

Darknet

Writers of tech dystopias have got their work cut out, these days, as the wildest imaginings of fabulists from Asimov to Roddenberry are turned into real, marketable products…

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Southwark Playhouse , Elephant and Castle Until Saturday May 7 2016

I Am Thomas

Critics' choice

Experimental but populist, historical but playful, and musical in the fashion of a carnival, this rousing Told By An Idiot production now at Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End riffs on the life of Thomas Aitkenhead. Who the fuck was he, the show asks? Fair question…

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Wilton's Music Hall , London Until Saturday April 30 2016

The Flick

A few years back a YouTube video did the rounds in which Justin Bieber’s infuriatingly catchy pre-teen smash ‘Baby’ was slowed down by 800%, turning the sturdy pop song into something altogether more alien and profound…

Read more
National Theatre , South Bank Until Wednesday June 15 2016

Funny Girl

Critics' choice

Barbra who? It’s no small triumph that Sheridan Smith has all but banished the ghost of productions past in this revival of the musical that made Barbra Streisand’s name in 1964…

Read more
Savoy Theatre , Charing Cross Until Saturday October 8 2016

The House of In Between

Critics' choice

Hijras are India’s ‘third gender’. Male by birth, and usually – though not always – eunuchs, they belong to a subculture that has existed on the Subcontinent for thousands of years…

Read more
Theatre Royal Stratford East , Stratford Until Saturday April 30 2016

Richard II

The evidently well connected creatives behind this production went so far in their attempt to reframe Shakespeare’s monarchical tragedy ‘Richard II’ as a Westminster thriller that it premiered in the actual House of Commons…

Read more
Arcola Theatre , Kingsland Tuesday May 3 2016 - Saturday May 7 2016

Show Boat

Critics' choice

They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore: this marvellous production of one of the all-time great musicals – already festooned in praise from a run at the resurgent Sheffield Crucible – feels like a strangely brave choice to put in the West End of 2016…

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New London Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday January 7 2017

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Critics' choice

‘We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared.’ Michael Rosen’s rhythmic tale about a family which goes looking for bears is addictively popular with tots…

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday June 26 2016

Show Boat

Critics' choice

They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore: this marvellous production of one of the all-time great musicals – already festooned in praise from a run at the resurgent Sheffield Crucible – feels like a strangely brave choice to put in the West End of 2016…

Read more
New London Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday January 7 2017

I Am Thomas

Critics' choice

Experimental but populist, historical but playful, and musical in the fashion of a carnival, this rousing Told By An Idiot production now at Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End riffs on the life of Thomas Aitkenhead…

Read more
Wilton's Music Hall , London Until Saturday April 30 2016

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Critics' choice

‘We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared.’ Michael Rosen’s rhythmic tale about a family which goes looking for bears is addictively popular with tots…

Read more
Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday June 26 2016

Boy

Critics' choice

After a week in which our rulers have blithely exposed how isolated from us they are by their wealth, it’s at least a vague silver lining to note that this is the year the anti-austerity play seems to have come of age…

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Almeida Theatre , Barnsbury Until Saturday May 28 2016

X

Critics' choice

Bluuuurdy hell.  I mean.  Where to even start with ‘X’…

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Royal Court Theatre , Belgravia Until Saturday May 7 2016

Kings of War

Critics' choice

In the last few months it feels like Belgian director Ivo van Hove has gone from being one of those distant European geniuses whose work could only be seen in brief surtitled stints at the Barbican, to one of our own…

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Until Sunday May 1 2016

Lucia di Lammermoor

Critics' choice

The purists won’t like it. This is a resoundingly feminist take on Gaetano Donizetti’s romantic opera ‘Lucia Di Lammermoor’ from director Katie Mitchell…

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Royal Opera House , Covent Garden Wednesday May 11 2016 - Thursday May 19 2016

Cyprus Avenue

Critics' choice

The last show I saw by Irish playwright David Ireland was ‘I Promise You Sex and Violence’, a wildly offensive bad taste comedy that opened to venomous reviews at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe and definitely stands in the top five worst things I’ve ever seen in any medium…

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Royal Court Theatre , Belgravia Until Saturday May 7 2016

Les Blancs

Critics' choice

Director Yaël Farber is an extraordinary talent, a South African whose work combines European grandeur with boilingly passionate emotion and an almost religious sense of ritual…

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National Theatre , South Bank Tuesday May 3 2016 - Thursday June 2 2016

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